Jointer Training

The jointer is primarily used for flattening one face of a board and for straightening and squaring the edges of boards to be glued together to form panels. In special circumstances, it may also be used for rabbeting, beveling and tapering, but again, a shaper or router might be better choices. The stock is placed on the in-feed table and pushed, with the aid of a pushblock, over the cutterhead and onto the out-feed table. The fence is used to help guide the stock. With proper technique and a few passes, the downward face becomes flat, but the top face is unaffected. The planer must be used after the jointer to shape the upper face flat and parallel to the bottom face.

Jointer parts diagram

  1. Remember the jointer does not have SawStop technology and will severely injure any body part that touches the blades or cutterhead. Kickback is also a concern when using the jointer. Slow, steady feed speed and a thin depth of cut are ways to minimize kickback.
  2. Always position stock with bow facing down to achieve the desired results.
  3. Always orient stock so that chips are formed ‘with the grain’. To cut ‘with the grain’, the grain angle of the material must be angled toward the operator and down. If you don’t understand this, ask.
    stock orientation
  4. Never attempt to pass material in the reverse direction (starting on the outfeed table). This will result in kickback and you will lose control of the stock.
  5. Do not remove guard over the cutterhead and always allow it to return against the fence before making the next cut.
  6. The maximum depth of cut is 1/16”; never force, or over feed the jointer by taking too thick of a cut. Final passes should be no more than 1/32”. Depth of cut is adjusted by raising or lowering the in-feed table. Removing stock in two passes instead of 1 will result in a smoother and safer operation.
  7. Do not attempt to joint stock shorter than 12”. Do not joint end gain.
  8. Always keep your fingers at least 6” from cutterhead, always position hands so that if material is ejected, your hands don’t move off the stock and into the cutterhead.
  9. Always use push blocks for flattening stock; however do not put undue pressure near the middle for the stock. This will result in stock not becoming flat during jointing.
  10. To achieve a square edge, the fence must be positioned square to the table and the stock must be held against the fence during the cut.
  11. Never attempt to joint stock wider than the width of the cutterhead.
  12. Never adjust the out-feed table. The out-feed table must remain exactly level with the knives of the cutterhead.
  13. Never clean lodged chips while the machine is running. Always be sure the cutterhead has completely stopped before reaching up into the machine or using a stick to clean out the machine.
  14. Always maintain a proper stance when using the jointer. A proper stance allows the operator to move the material across the jointer in a smooth, fluid motion. Sometimes the operator will have to take a few steps forward when jointing long stock. The operator must always stand to the left of the material to avoid contact with stock during a kickback.

View video on jointer basics.

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